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Association News – AM2021

Canadian Paramedicine
Canadian Paramedicine
Association News - AM2021

With the evolution of paramedicine as a field of practice, we have seen in its growth, the rise of impassioned women into many roles. Educators, advocates, champions and leaders; women are shaping the present and the future of the profession in ways that elevate it to its highest level.

The Ontario Paramedic Association is proud to showcase the incredible women who volunteer their time on the BOD and Wellness Committee, advocating for advances that improve and strengthen the profession and the communities that we serve.

“Here is to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” ~ Unknown

LEFT TO RIGHT: Mary Osinga, Katherine Hambleton, Caitlin Tavares, Tori Cuthbertson

Having been involved in the paramedic profession for more than 25 years, I have seen great advances in the education of paramedics and the use of that education for public awareness and professional advancement. I advocate for the profession and hence the public in Ontario by the education of the entry to practice paramedics and the ongoing professional development of practicing paramedics. By helping to ensure competence at all levels from novice to expert practitioner, I feel I help raise our profession to its highest level.”

Mary Osinga – Director of Education

Paramedics care for their communities while facing some of the most unique and unpredictable circumstances, encountering occupational stressors that can contribute to physical and emotional depletion. It is my belief that the healthier we are as individuals, the stronger our profession will be, allowing Paramedics to provide the highest care possible for their communities. I advocate for the health and wellness of the profession by working to identify and make recommendations toward actionable and pragmatic supports, by promoting a culture of well-being, and by working to break down the barriers associated with mental health challenges.”

Katherine Hambleton – Director of Membership Services

Paramedicine is enacted through individuals who commit themselves to the profession in various ways. Committing oneself in a diverse, complex and in many instances, uncertain environments carries a potential, but common cost to the provider. Enacting Paramedicine well, therefore, means looking after those who provide the care, represent it, and contribute to its advancement. My way of advocating for patients and the profession is to support the mental well-being of paramedics. It is through a healthy and thriving paramedic community that patients and the profession will ultimately benefit.

Caitlin Tavares – Vice Chair OPA Wellness Committee

One of the ways I advocate for Paramedics is through encouraging Service & Therapy Dog use as an adjunct to wellness for an individual or organization. I intend to use my academic pursuits to enhance educational methods, and continue research to support wellness via K9.

Tori Cuthbertson – OPA Wellness Committee Member


Paramedic Science Committee

The OPA is seeking Full Paramedic Members to fill the positions of 1 Chair, 1 Vice Chair, and 2 Committee members on the OPA Scientific Committee.
The OPASC will be comprised of a total of 5 seats, with 1 position appointed from within the OPA Board of Directors. 
This committee has been established by the OPA who has a vested interest in supporting the advancement of the paramedic profession, and the empowerment of paramedics by supporting the capacity of the system to produce and utilize its own knowledge and evidence base.The successful candidate(s) will:

  • Possess a strong knowledge of research methodology
  • Work collaboratively with stakeholders and members of the public
  • Provide regular feedback to the Committee and the Board of Directors
  • Possess strong networking and collaboration skills
  • Demonstrate accuracy and creativity in written and oral communications
  • Be proficient in basic software and apps (Doodle, Dropbox, Excel, Outlook, Skype, Word)
  • Participate in meetings as required

This posting is open to all Full Paramedic Members in good standing. All OPA Board and Committee positions are unpaid positions as per OPA Bylaw: Article 7 – Remuneration of Directors.  All Committee members will be entitled to compensation for mileage and per diem, as approved in advance, by the OPA Board of Directors, and in accordance with the OPA Standard Operating Guidelines.
Further information related to above mentioned positions within the OPASC can be found under the ‘OPASC Terms of Reference’.
DEADLINE: Candidates are invited to submit a CV and cover letter by no later than May 31, 2021 to



Why Participate?

By participating in our study, we will learn more about your experience working as a paramedic during the COVID-19 pandemic and it will help us better understand the workplace factors which increase or decrease your risks of developing COVID-19. Your blood samples will help us determine levels of immunity to COVID-19 among the paramedic community, both short and long-term.

Your Impact

The results of this study will help identify factors that increase or decrease the risk of infection among paramedics, and how your risk compares to other groups such as health care workers and the general population. This evidence can be used to inform workplace health and safety guidelines to protect paramedics from developing COVID-19 infections. It will also help us learn how effective the vaccine is at inducing antibodies, and how long these antibodies last.

What does the study Involve and how can I participate?

The study involves completing online surveys and blood collections at three timepoints, ending in early 2022. If you consent and are eligible to participate you can complete your first survey today. After completing the survey, you can download a blood requisition to take to a lab (or can opt for self-collection via “dried blood spot” if a lab is not in your region). For vaccinated individuals, the second blood sample should be 6 months after the first vaccine dose. For non-vaccinated individuals, the second blood sample should be 6 months after the first sample. The final sample will be in early 2022.

To find out more about the study and if you are eligible, please visit the participant page of this website

PPA Announcement

The PPA Board of Directors met on Monday, April 19th.  During that meeting the Board voted on the open Executive positions.   

The results of the vote are as follows: 

  • President: Sarah Salvis
  • Vice President: Caitlin Tavares 
  • Treasurer: Brent Gorzynski 
  • Secretary: Shane Hale 


Other Board members include: 

  • Alex Mordfield 
  • Joel D’Eath 
  • Josh Pound 
  • Justin Migchels 
  • MJ Braaksma 
  • Natalia Bourdages 
  • Paul Snobelen 

I would like to personally thank retiring President Mike Thomas for all your hard work and dedication to the PPA over the years.  You will be missed.  I am honoured to be continuing the PPA’s work.  I am also excited to work with the Board as we continue to move the PPA forward.   

This is a challenging time for everyone.  The PPA hopes to continue our involvement in community initiatives while also providing value for our members.  Discussions regarding Paramedic Week plans are ongoing.  The Board hopes to put into place some ideas that will provide even a little relief from our current circumstances.  Please feel free to contact myself, or another Board member with any comments or suggestions. 

Additionally, my email inbox is always open.   I am happy to hear your thoughts on what you would like the PPA to be involved in and how we can continue to move the Association forward.  Please feel free to forward any questions, comments, and/or concerns to myself at any time. 

I look forward to serving you and the PPA as President.   Thank you all for your continued commitment to the Association, the work we do, and the paramedic profession.   

Stay safe.   


–Sarah Salvis 

Women in Paramedicine

Women in Paramedicine

Women in Paramedicine is compromised of dozens of women in the paramedical field across Canada. Since 2019, they have been sharing their research, point of view, thoughts, and strength to Canadian Paramedicine through their voice and words.

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